TRP wants a slice of the 12-speed pie with new TR12 drivetrain

€299 mech and shifter compatible with SRAM, Shimano, SunRace and e*thirteen cassettes and chains

TRP TR12 12-speed derailleur and shifter

TRP’s brand new 12-speed TR12 rear derailleur and shifter are aimed at trail and enduro riding, and compatible with SRAM, Shimano, SunRace and e*thirteen cassettes, chains, cranks and chainrings.

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In the battle for 12-speed dominance we’ve seen some power moves by the big two – SRAM and Shimano – as they released more groupsets at impressively affordable prices with trickle-down tech, and at expensive sums for the top-grade kit.

The dominance of SRAM and Shimano left little room in the market, and while Rotor produced a 13-speed hydraulically-shifting drivetrain, it’s designed for cross-country and marathon riding only, and is very expensive.

TRP TR12 12-speed derailleur and shifter
The short cage mech is compatible with up to a 50-tooth cassette sprocket.
TRP

This makes the choice of 12-speed drivetrain pretty simple depending on your brand allegiances and whether you’ve already got some compatible parts on your bike.

Until now, perhaps, as TRP enters with its TR12 shifter and mech with cross-brand compatibility.

TRP TR2 rear derailleur specifications and details

Hall Lock

TRP TR12 12-speed derailleur and shifter
The Hall Lock stops the mech rotating around its main pivot.
TRP

Designed specifically to reduce noise and chain slap, the TR12 uses an additional measure not seen on other brands’ mechs called the Hall Lock.

Named after multiple downhill mountain bike world champion Aaron Gwin’s mechanic, John Hall, the Hall Lock stops the mech from pivoting around its main bolt.

TRP claims this, in turn, improves shifting by creating a more stable derailleur.

TRP TR12 12-speed derailleur and shifter
It can be clamped up to be as tight or as loose as required.
TRP

The Hall Lock is turned off by opening a lever. To remove the back wheel or adjust the derailleur’s b-tension screw, TRP says the Hall Lock needs to be disengaged.

But don’t be mistaken, the Hall Lock isn’t an on or off feature. The mech’s ability to stay put is user-adjustable, too. This means you can dial-in exactly how ‘stable’ the mech is.

Ratchet clutch

On top of the Hall Lock, the mech’s also got a traditional cage-based clutch that functions in a similar way to Shimano and SRAM’s systems, but the TRP TR2 mech’s clutch uses a ratchet system instead of a friction-plate design.

Like the Hall Lock, the clutch is also user-adjustable.

TRP TR12 12-speed derailleur and shifter
There are chain-length guides and the mech’s clutch can be adjusted.
TRP

If you believe the mech’s cage is resisting chain growth too much and interfering with the bike’s suspension or pedal kickback, it’s possible to tone down how much resistance it has by adjusting it to be as free-moving as a non-clutch mech.

Setup guides

People who struggle to get their gears set up will love these little features.

A b-tension adjustment guide is etched on the side of the mech’s cage just above the upper pulley wheel. This should mean b-tension is easier to set up compared to other brands’ offerings.

There’s also a chain length indicator to help you get the perfect chain length. You simply line up the symbols – one on the mech’s body, the other on the cage – with each other to get the right chain length.

Materials and fabrication

TRP TR12 12-speed derailleur and shifter
The mech features both carbon and forged aluminium parts.
TRP

The mech’s outer cage and upper link are made from carbon fibre, while the rest of it, including the inner cage, knuckle and parallelogram, is manufactured out of forged aluminium.

It’s available in three colours – black, gold and silver – and has sealed stainless steel bearings.

It has an 11-tooth upper pulley and a 15-tooth lower pulley.

The TR12 is claimed to weigh 282g.

TRP TR12 rear derailleur compatibility

TRP TR12 12-speed derailleur and shifter
Is the TR12 a viable alternative to Shimano’s and SRAM’s offerings?
TRP

The TRP TR12 derailleur is compatible with a maximum 50-tooth and minimum 9-tooth cassette sprocket.

TRP states it’s most compatible with SRAM’s PR-1230 11-50 tooth NX Eagle cassette and SRAM’s range of 10-50 tooth GX, X01 and XX1 Eagle cassettes.

However, because it’s not compatible with cassette sprockets larger than 50 teeth, TRP claims the TR12 mech won’t work with Shimano’s widest-ranging 12-speed cassette from the Deore, SLX, XT and XTR ranges that has a 51-tooth biggest sprocket.

But it will work with its slightly smaller Micro Spline big-ring blocks (the 10-45 tooth models) in the SLX, XT and XTR ranges.

Similarly, it’ll work with SunRace’s MZ90 and MZX0 11-50-tooth cassettes and the SunRace MZ91X 10-50-tooth model.

There’s also compatibility with e*thirteens TRS+ 9-46-tooth and 9-50-tooth cassettes.

TRP says all SRAM, Shimano and KMC 12-speed chains work with the mech, but doesn’t say whether the TR12 derailleur is compatible with SRAM or Shimano gear shifters.

TRP TR12 gear shifter specifications and details

TRP TR12 12-speed derailleur and shifter
The shifter’s thumb lever is adjustable.
TRP

The new mech’s launched with a matching TR12 12-speed shifter.

According to TRP, the shift levers have a linear actuation. We can assume this means they’ll move in a straight line rather than pivoting around their fixing point as other brands’ systems do.

TRP claims this mimics the movement a thumb makes when it shifts gear, thus maintaining the thumb contact patch with the lever.

Although TRP doesn’t state how its shift levers work, and whether it’s in the same way as SRAM’s shifters or Shimano’s dual-direction system, the images of the shifter seem to confirm they’re both pushed in the same direction.

The paddles have embossed grooves that should improve grip, and some parts of the shifter are made from carbon, such as the upper house and ‘advance lever’.

The shifter’s got ball bearings and its changing gear cable is said to be tool-free.

TRP TR12 12-speed derailleur and shifter
The shifter has some carbon fibre parts.
TRP

The larger paddle, traditionally used to shift to an easier gear, has 40 degrees of angle adjustment. One push of the paddle can change five gears at once.

Like the mech, the shifter’s available in black, gold and silver and weighs a claimed 120g.

Although it’s not stated in its launch documentation, it appears the TR12 shifter is at least compatible with SRAM’s Matchmaker system and could work with Shimano’s I-spec tech, too.

It doesn’t appear that the TR12 shifter is compatible with SRAM or Shimano mechs, however.

TRP TR12 derailleur and gear shifter pricing and availability

TRP is selling the TR12 mech and shifter as a pair. The setup retails for £330 / €299, while the mech costs £240 and the shifter £120.

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This puts the TR12 mech and shifter at the same level as Shimano’s XTR or SRAM’s X01.